Sunny autumn afternoons are made for a good walk and, since you never know how long the weather will hold, we spent last half term making the most of it by exploring our treasured local beauty spots.
Readers of this blog will be familiar with our love of National Trust Dyffryn Gardens which, as well as offering the triple necessities of toilets, tearoom and gift shop, has the most glorious house and gardens.
Walking is a great way to exercise, isn’t it? It’s low impact so relatively kind to your joints and you don’t need to be a gym bunny to enjoy it. Plus walking gives you access to the kinds of places you could never visit by car.
It’s good for your mental health too. There is something almost meditative about a slow plod whilst you tune out the world and focus on the sound of birdsong or the wind in the trees.
In reality, of course, I’m more likely to hear requests for tissues and sweets along with the usual sibling bickering but getting your kids outdoors can be a sanity saver for you and for them.
It’s funny because no matter how much Caitlin and Ieuan baulk at going for a walk, at the end they both usually declare they enjoyed it and feel a lot better for the exercise.
I remind them that we need at least 20 minutes a day outdoors in natural light so that we keep our Vitamin D levels topped up.
Being properly kitted out is important too. Whilst Dyffryn Gardens is relatively flat to walk around, venturing farther afield to rockier and more mountainous climbs really requires the right gear to protect you and yours against the elements.
You’ll need a good waterproof coat and stout boots as well as warm layers, such as a fleece and, of course, hats, scarves and gloves.
Ieuan usual insists on wearing a thin hoodie no matter what the temperature but we’re making him wear his coat to fend off coughs and colds.
Lightweight waterproof jackets are great to have because you can add extra layers underneath without the addition of a weighty winter coat.
As any parent doing the school run knows, they are also very handy when you’re pushing a pram in the pouring rain without a spare hand for an umbrella!
You may remember from my last post that we’ve been enjoying lots of rambles lately and Mat and I have been kitted out with jackets and boots for a country walk with the kids.
Millets has a great range of men’s walking boots and you’ll find both walking boots and walking shoes. Mat is wearing Brasher Men’s Country Master Walking Boots which are stout enough for lengthier walks whilst offering decent ankle support and comfort.
My boots are Women’s Litewave Fastpack GORE-TEX® Boots from the women’s North Face walking boots range at Millets and they are the lightest, most comfortable boots I’ve worn. I particularly like that they are versatile enough to cope with strolls and hikes and even extended shopping trips or days out sightseeing.
Being a shoe size 8 often means I have to compromise comfort and fit for style, but not in this case thanks to Millets.
As the sun set it was back to the warmth of the teashop to ponder the wonder that is the National Trust scone but I am looking forward to taking my boots on their next adventure. We’re off to see Enchanted Christmas at Westonbirt Arboretum where the light displays are always fantastic but you do need to wrap up against the cold.
Do you enjoy family walks in the countryside? What walking gear do you recommend?
*Disclosure: The brands included in this post asked for our opinion on the products featured from their range. All thoughts and opinions are our own.